e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,
e_moon60
e_moon60

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Land and water and sun...

Thursday, Friday and Saturday I spent time on the tractor, mowing the near meadow, the fire strip near the highway, parts of the secondary drainage, the fire strip near the dry woods, the dry woods swale, widening Center Walk from the dry woods to the creek woods, and widening the south walking path from the secondary drainage to the creek woods on the south fenceline.

So...twice I worked myself into mild heat injury   Usually by this time in summer, I've been outdoors in the heat almost every day, and my memory told me how many hours I could spend in the heat without a problem.  Only thing is, in June it was too wet to take the big tractor out, and by the time the ground hardened in July, I was traveling, not to return until early August--this was the first week I could get out there and start mowing.  With the ragweed ranging from 2 to 4 feet tall, giant ragweed to 8-10 feet, etc.  And temps right at 100, and the heat from Bombadil's engine coming back at me.   Thursday was the full--I'm nauseated, headachy, and shaky.  I lay on the kitchen floor in front of a fan, sipping cold water and munching saltine crackers and 20 minutes later was fine.  Friday I didn't go out until later in the afternoon and it wasn't as hot.  No problems; I worked until it was too dark to see what I was cutting.  So Saturday I thought (foolish mortal) that I was over all that, and besides there was a nice breeze and partial clouds.  Worked 2-3 hours, interrupted by one run to the house because of a mild gut bug, came in and had a late lunch (basically saltine crackers, because of that minor gut bug) and rested until about 4, then went back out.  All seemed to be fine until I went down to the tractor ford across the creek, wasn't sure I could make it across with the big tractor (and at that moment it started to rain--but only for a few seconds) and backed out of the huge forest of giant ragweed to leave the tractor and do a bit of recon.  I hadn't realized the creek was still flowing (it almost never is, in mid-August.)

In among the giant ragweed, and trees at the ford, which cut off the wind, it was suddenly very humid and felt much hotter.  I crossed on foot, looking at dragonflies and damselflies and taking some pictures, and then suddenly, on my way back, started feeling sick again.  Grump.  Sat down in the shade of the tractor for awhile. Richard had shown up on the small tractor by then, and he was going across to Owl Pavilion; I said I'd drive to the south end and walk through the woods (first time back in the woods since before I left on my travels.)  Surely I'd feel better by then.  Well, the breeze--I was driving into it--did help.  I parked Bombadil again and started into the woods...at the south end, a south breeze penetrates some because the neighbor to the south cleared a lot of his woods away.   I was fine most of the way through, but then...wow, the energy level dropped like a bomb.  That's when I remembered that because of the minor gut bug I hadn't had anything but crackers for lunch.  Duh.

Still...water in the lower swamp pool and all through the east overflow drainage.  Water in the main creek.  Water in Westbrook (low enough to step over, at the south trail, but still backed up high behind the Westbrook rock crossing north the SW meadow.)  It was worth feeling that wiped out to see it again.  Water in August is precious around here (yes, I know there's been disasterous flooding near here and in other states...but we had been so dry, so long...)  Frogs, toads, animal tracks...wonderful.   I made it back to the tractor later and very slowly, and got Bombadil back to its usual parking spot by the north horse lot gate.  Came inside and went flop...no energy.  Ran into a little trouble today during the second service, but made it home safely.  Did NOT go out on the tractor, though. 

Still blooming--some of the spring wildflowers like bluebonnets (yes, really!), coneflowers, black-eyed Susan, prairie bluets, even stiff-stem flax; some of the summer ones like ironweed, common sunflower,  mealy-blue sage, prairie loosestrife,  and flame acanthus and Turks' cap.   The wild grape crop was so big this year that it's not all gone even now--there are big clusters of grapes hanging from some of the vines.   The big golden orb weavers have webs up to six feet across and are quite capable of capturing and eating dragonflies.  Wildlife tracks in the mud range from deer down to mice.

Dragonflies: Swift Setwing, Blue Dasher, Eastern Pondhawk, Giant Pondhawk, Common Green Darner,  Common White-tail,  Roseate Skimmer, Red Saddlebags, Black Saddlebags...that's just the ones I could ID from the tractor or that few minutes by the creek.   The American Rubyspots are still at the creek, along with Common Bluets and Kiowa Dancers. 

We are so lucky.



Tags: heat, land management, tractor, wildlife management
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